Facebook is an excellent place for marketing your business, but it’s important to have two separate accounts – one as a personal profile and another as a business page. Its actually a requirement to keep your business page separate because Facebook can close your personal profile if you are using it for business purposes. It also makes good business sense to keep the two separate.
It goes beyond that though – people will feel scammed if they accept your friend request and then learn you are trying to get their business. It’s ok to “friend” your business contacts on your personal profile, but people want to know if they are dealing with you in a personal or professional manner.
To create a business page, you can log in with your personal account. From there, go to the url: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. You can choose a category into which you fall. There are many choices such as brand/product/organizations and artist/band/public figure.
You need to make your personal profile and business page look different. First, use a different profile picture for each account. Then, use your name for your personal profile and your business name for your business page. It sounds like common sense, but there are those who use their name for their business page and it gets confusing.
Next, post a link to your business page from your personal profile. Click the share button when viewing your business page. Also, on your personal profile, under Work in the About section use a link to your business page. So, list your work as your business page. It’s like free advertising.
Another feature for business pages is the Facebook tab apps which give your users a richer experience. You can provide a video introduction, feature your products, provide a newsletter opt-in form, etc…
Facebook provides four standard apps with every page – photos, events, videos and likes. There are a variety of other apps available such as running a contest, adding your blog posts or bringing in your Pinterest boards.
Outside developers such as Heyo, North Social and Pagemodo provide other custom apps for your Facebook business page. ShortStack is an app that is built on “layers” in which you can layer widgets on top of each other or use a few of their pre-built templates. It’s free for pages with fewer than 2000 fans which is a nice way to ease you into Facebook marketing.
Another great reason to use a business page is all the offers you can give away to your heart’s content. It’s the official way to promote deals to your Facebook audience and when your fans and non-fans take these offers, their friends can see it.
Make sure you promote your Facebook page on your company website, your blog, your e-mail newsletter, your Linkedin profile, etc… You can also customize your URL for your Facebook business page to http://facebook.com/yourcompany instead of the indecipherable default URL that Facebook provides.
I’m sure you want more than 5,000 fans of your business page and with a personal profile 5,000 is your limit. You want your business to grow through Facebook, not become static.